|My Idea of Heaven, 8x8" ©2011 K. Hambric|
I once saw a photograph of an intersection in Seattle. On each corner was a coffee shop. This is my idea of heaven. Imagine the smell. Fragrant of memory and of promise. A brew of stories. Caffeine!
I love cities. Most of my vacations are centered around cities.
I love maps of cities. I used to draw fantasy city maps. Others drew maps of fantasy lands (after they had read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, of course). As a child I would create city maps out of just about anything: paper and pencils, dominos, Tinker Toys, clothes pins, game pieces, empty cartons, building blocks, and probably 200 other items.
My goal was to become a city planner. I wanted to design cities from the bottom up. From scratch. All new. Later I realized that was impossible. Like plants and people, cities grow. From towns. From villages. From a settlement of a handful of houses, a blacksmith shop and a general store (and/or a saloon). Out and up. Neighborhoods form, grow, and often, eventually die.
While I love to be in a city with a map, most of the time I have to be content at home with a map. What do I do with surplus computer time? Head to GoogleMaps. Zoom in. Zoom out. Where do I think the rich people live? Could those large masses in the central city be a convention center (replacing what was thought to be a declining neighborhood)? Does that mass of restaurant, coffee, and shopping icons indicate a vibrant urban node, perhaps gentrified?
. . . I can smell the coffee now. .
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